While Sales Have Sagged So Far In 2015 For The Nissan LEAF, The 2016 Model Arriving This Fall Looks To Be Armed With A Bigger Battery...And New Colors (like Deep Pearl Blue)
Heading into this year, Nissan had set a new monthly record for LEAF sales in 24 consecutive months. Unfortunately, that trend came to a full stop in 2015.
Thankfully, the 2,104 cars sold in May was Nissan's best effort of the year by far, and was the first time the model passed the 2k mark in 2015. In fact, only the Tesla Model S and Nissan LEAF have forged into this sales level.
Despite the new 2015 high, the model has now dropped 5 months in a row (on a year-over-year basis) in the US, as in May of 2014, a robust 3,117 LEAFs were sold, making the 2,104 units sold last month represent a decline in sales of 32.5%.
Total 2015 sales come to 7,742 units versus 10,449 sold a year ago this month, a decline of 25.5%.
The two most obvious reasons behind this drop in2015 is that the current iteration is getting a little long in the tooth heading into its final year before a full refresh happens in 2017, and also the introduction of a bevy of other sub-100 mile range plug-ins.
In fact over the past year, almost 21,000 EVs other than the LEAF have been sold in the US with 93 miles of range or less - more than double the ~9,700 sold the 12 months prior, but May's rise in LEAF sales (compared to the previous 4 months of 2015) may indicate a slight upwards trend.
Nissan LEAF Historical Sales And Percentage Of Plug-In Market Through April 2015
New 2016 Nissan LEAF Colors (finally "Robin's Egg Blue"/Morningsky has left the building)
Thankfully, for the LEAF's near term outlook, Nissan seems to have anticipated the sag in sales its EV is currently experiencing, and is reportedly planning to offer a 30 kWh battery in both the SV and SL trims (the current 24 kWh battery will be standard still in the base S model).
This larger battery should allow the LEAF to firmly break into the 3-digit mark for range (we figure 105-110 miles of EPA rated electric miles), and put some distance between it and the growing legion of inexpensive city EVs.
The question now is, "Can Nissan turn around sales in 2015 and show a gain?"
With the anticipated arrival of the longer range, 2016 model, not expected until October, that mountain seems far too high to cross. However, the LEAF looks to once again have no obvious rival come this fall, and should reclaim former sales glory in 2016.